This module will introduce students to the fundamental insights and methods of environmental and resource economics. The module will explore a wide-range of environmental problems including pollution, waste, climate change, over-fishing and the depletion of natural resource stocks. In each case, students will learn about the economic drivers of the environmentally damaging behaviour. Moreover, students will be shown how those insights can be used to suggest solutions to environmental problems based on the adoption of policies or treaties crafted with the careful application of economic reasoning.
Full module specification
|Module title:||Environmental Economics|
BEE1036 and BEE1037
|Duration of module:||
Duration (weeks) - term 1: |
- Provide students with the microeconomic tools needed to analyse fundamental contemporary questions concerning environmental economics.
- Help students to understand contemporary issues in environmental economics and public policy concerning industrial pollution, climate change and resource extraction.
ILO: Module-specific skills
- 1. recognise the ways in which individual decisions, market forces and government policies can affect the natural environment;
- 2. engage with the core debates in social choice theory and assess their relevance to the design of environmental policy;
- 3. design and evaluate public policies for the regulation of environmental pollution and natural resource depletion;
- 4. use game theory to analyse international pollution problems and assess the merits of treaties designed to address them;
- 5. apply the techniques of social cost-benefit analysis, including those of non-market valuation, to the appraisal of projects and policies.
ILO: Discipline-specific skills
- 6. interpret relevant data and empirical findings;
- 7. assess appropriate policies for various economic and social problems.
ILO: Personal and key skills
- 8. demonstrate awareness of the role of numerical evidence in economics;
- 9. conduct a critical assessment of policy debates, theoretical models and empirical evidence;
- 10. demonstrate written communication skill.
Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)
|Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activities||Guided independent study||Placement / study abroad|
Details of learning activities and teaching methods
|Category||Hours of study time||Description|
|Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activity||22||Lectures|
|Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activity||5||Tutorials|
|Guided Independent Study||123||Independent study|
|Form of assessment||Size of the assessment (eg length / duration)||ILOs assessed||Feedback method|
|Tutorial questions||In-class||1-9||in class feedback|
Summative assessment (% of credit)
|Coursework||Written exams||Practical exams|
Details of summative assessment
|Form of assessment||% of credit||Size of the assessment (eg length / duration)||ILOs assessed||Feedback method|
|Essay||30||2000 words||1-10||Individual feedback|
|Final exam||70||2 hours||1-0||Indicative solutions on ELE|
Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)
|Original form of assessment||Form of re-assessment||ILOs re-assessed||Timescale for re-assessment|
|Essay (2000 words) 30%||2000 word essay (30%)||1-10||August/September Reassessment Period|
|Final exam (2 hours) 70%||2 hour exam (70%)||1-10||August/September Reassessment Period|
Indicative content includes:
- Social Choice Theory
- Markets, Property Rights and Market Failure
- Regulation of Environmental Pollution
- Global Environmental Issues and Climate Change
- Measuring Environmental Costs and Benefits
- Economic Growth and Environmental Quality
- Optimal Resource Extraction
Indicative learning resources - Basic reading
Perman, R. et al. (2011), Natural Resource and Environmental Economics, Addison Wesley; 4 edition.
Kolstad, C.D. (2011): Environmental Economics. 2nd edition. New York, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
A full reading list will be available on the module’s ELE page. Examples of relevant papers include:
Morey, E. R. (2018)"What are the ethics of welfare economics? And, are welfare economists utilitarians?". International Review of Economics 65.2: 201-230.
Bateman, I.J., Harwood, A.R., Mace, G.M., Watson, R.T., Abson, D.J., Andrews, B., Binner, A., Crowe, A., Day, B.H., Dugdale, S. and Fezzi, C., (2013). Bringing ecosystem services into economic decision-making: land use in the United Kingdom. Science, 341(6141), pp.45-50.
Sandler, T., (2017). Environmental cooperation: contrasting international environmental agreements. Oxford Economic Papers, 69(2), pp.345-364.
Miller, S.J. and Deacon, R.T., (2017). Protecting marine ecosystems: Regulation versus market incentives. Marine Resource Economics, 32(1), pp.83-107.
Sioshansi, F. and Webb, J., (2019). Transitioning from conventional to electric vehicles: The effect of cost and environmental drivers on peak oil demand. Economic Analysis and Policy, 61, pp.7-15.
Module has an active ELE page?
Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources
Last revision date